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An Unexpected Encounter with Magda Gardener

 

With Blindsided, book 2 in the Medusa’s Consortium series, set to be released September 29th, as you can imagine, my characters and their situations are on my mind a lot. That was never more true than this past ten days while I was in New York City, where Blindsided is set. I couldn’t escape the feeling that I was being watched, shadowed even, by someone who has a lot invested in me getting the story just right.

 

I hear that you occasionally encounter celebrities while walking in New York City, though I never have. I’ve never
encountered anyone I even knew – at least not until this time.

 

I was enjoying one of those lovely solitary city walks. I can combine the total pleasure of exploring with a little research along with the chance to be inspired by the walk, which is always a win-win. One of my favorite things to do is walk the bridges. I love to meander down to Lower Manhattan, slip into China Town’s manic hustle and bustle and then step back out of it onto the gloom and concrete of the Manhattan Bridge. Unlike the bright and airy Brooklyn Bridge that feels almost like it’s suspended above the water on gossamer wings, the pedestrian walk over the Manhattan Bridge is flanked by the noisy clatter and clang of the subway. There are no views off to the left, except for the frequent and noisy trains, sandwiched between traffic crawling over the highway above and steel girders plunging into the East River below.

 

 

To the right the river view is compromised by sinister stretches of high wire fence. I keep coming back not for the glorious views, but for the gated off concrete alcoves and pillars that mantle sections of the walkway in deep shadow and drive an overly active imagination like mind into sheer ecstasy at the story possibilities. While I adore the Brooklyn Bridge, it’s not a place of solitude, always jammed cheek to jowl with tourists. The Manhattan Bridge, however with it’s sparse influx of tourists and its tatty, seen-better-days but totally practical look, inspires me to darker, grittier thoughts.

 

I hadn’t gone very far this time until I had that prickly sense of being followed. Not much of a surprise on the darker, more sinister stretches of the bridge. Even in broad daylight, the place feels a little bit dangerous. Those slightly dodgy sections are the reason I love the bridge, the reason it inspires me. A train rumbled by to my left and the feeling intensified. I stepped aside and let two runners and an elderly Chinese gentleman pass me. I was safe here. No need to worry.

 

 

Photos are hard to take on the Manhattan Bridge because of the heavy cross-hatching of the wire fence, so imagine my delight when I came to a spot near the center of the bridge where someone had torn a hole in the fencing just large enough to get a good photo. I was so caught up in capturing images that I forgot all about that feeling of being followed until I felt a sudden chill crawl over me, and for an instant, I could swear I saw my breath rising in icy puffs. It was eighty degrees already, so I knew of only one thing that would put a chill in the morning, or should I say one person.

 

“Magda.” I didn’t turn around. I’m neither brave nor stupid. The air around me warmed and I felt the heat of her body as she sidled up next to me.

 

“KD.” She returned my terse greeting. I could almost hear the smile in her voice. “Thought I might find you here. I’ve heard you’re quite fond of this bridge. I rather like it myself,” she added. “And Desiree, well that bitch has some chilling tales to tell about experiences of this bridge back when it was being built. A walking history book of the city, that one is. Most of it she was there for.”

 

“I sort of suspected she’d been around awhile.” I risked a peek at Magda’s feet, surprised to find her in soft leather sandals, toenails painted a bright shade of coral.

 

 

She followed my gaze, then chuckled. “I do enjoy a little summer heat now and then. I don’t get enough of it in the Lakes.” Then she huffed out an irritated sigh. “Oh for fuck sake, KD, don’t be such a wuss. After all I’ve allowed you to write, if I was going to make a statue out of you, I’d have done so a long time ago, and I certainly wouldn’t be doing it in the middle of the Manhattan Bridge.”

 

“And the little chill?” I asked, still not looking at her. Frankly it took all the courage I could muster to confront her.

 

I felt more than saw her shrug. “Oh that’s nothing, just a friendly little reminder that you’re playing with the lives and the hearts of my people when you tell their stories.”

 

“They tell their stories,” I replied, still trying to keep my knees from shaking.

 

“Exactly my point. As long as you let them tell their stories, as long as you don’t try to rewrite them, you’re perfectly safe with me.”

 

“I’m not Susan,” I commented, finally getting up the courage to glance around at her. “I can’t make something reality just because I write it.”

 

 

“Can’t you?” She took me by the shoulder and turning me to face her, and for the briefest moment, I felt as though the bridge was collapsing beneath my feet. Then the world righted itself and I found myself looking into the face of the most beautiful women I’d ever seen, eyes hidden beneath a pair of Ray-Bans. She wore her long locks in the usual careless black ribbon. Honestly, she could have passed for a tourist in a calf-length turquoise sundress exposing porcelain skin that on any other person would have been sunburnt red in no time. Somehow I doubted that was a problem for Magda Gardener. “What do you think storytellers do, KD? They make what’s in their imagination real.” She offered me a quirk of a smile. “At least to everyone who reads their stories. And that’s a lot of power for one person to wield.” She nodded me forward and we continued on across the bridge.

 

Neither of us said anything as a train rattled by to our left, and when it had passed I asked, “is that why you came to me, to warn me about the power I have?”

 

“Maybe I just like your company,” came the reply. “Certainly I’ve been spending a lot of time with you lately. And anyway,” she added, “I can tell by the sound of your voice you don’t believe you have much power. That’s probably more the reason why I’m here, to remind you that you do. Taking it lightly is just as dangerous as wielding it in the way Susan has, in the way she’s been forced to. There are few things more powerful than the written word. The truth in it, the weight of it, even in fiction, can affect change in ways you never anticipated.”

 

I didn’t respond. She was preaching to the choir here. I always believed that the written language is one of the most powerful tools of civilization and that there’s living, breathing magic in it every time we put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) And sometimes that magic is manifest in words we never expected, or intended, to have any power at all.

 

 

Another train rattled by and a jogger with a Rottweiler on a leash bounded past. “The situation is about to get really hairy. It won’t be easy, what you’ll have to write from now on. You know that?” She said without looking at me.

 

“I know.” My pulse raced at the thought of what I’d have to write next. “I hope I’m up to the task.”

 

“So do I,” she responded. That wasn’t exactly the ringing vote of confidence I’d hoped for. Then she added. “I want you to tell the truth. That’s what I want. I’m not sure all of my people want that. Some don’t have truths they’re proud to share.” She huffed out a little laugh and I swear I saw frost around her lips. “I’m not particularly proud of my truth, for that matter, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want it told.” She nodded. “It needs to be told.”

 

“Even with what’s coming?”

 

“Especially with what’s coming.”

 

As we drew near the end of the bridge, there were more people to dodge, more joggers, a few tourists, several dog walkers. We walked on in semi-comfortable silence.

 

“I’ll be checking in,” she said. “You won’t be left to struggle on your own, at least not for too long.” She looked up and I noticed the black limo waiting at the edge Jay Street.

 

“One of Desiree’s?” I asked.

 

“One of my own,” came the reply. “Where I need to go is too far to walk. Good luck K D.” She turned and headed toward the limo without asking if I needed a ride. But then she didn’t have to ask. She knew I was walking the story, and it would be a long time before I was ready to head back to Penn Station.

 

I watched the driver get out and open the door for her, keeping his eyes straight ahead. For the briefest of moments, I thought I saw a snake slide from beneath the black ribbon and curl around her neck almost like a caress. Then she disappeared into the car, and I continued my walk, finding it a little easier to breathe as the limo drove away.

 

 

Don’t forget, you can still get your copy of my M/M Medusa’s Consortium novella, Landscapes for FREE by following the link. Also if you want a taste of the first Consortium novel, In The Flesh, you can follow the link.  Download! Read! Be happy!

 

Caris Roane A Touch of Flame Tour and Giveaway

A Touch of Flame

Flame Series 5

By Caris Roane

 

 

Caris is giving away A Purple PNR bracelet (International Winner Receives Gift Card), A $25 Amazon Gift Card, A $15 Amazon Gift Card. to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

 

 

WOW! Something extra from Caris Roane!

Just leave a comment for a chance to win!

Caris Roane here and I’m so glad you’re touring with me. Be sure to visit as many blogs on my tour as you can and leave a comment at each one to be entered into this WOW giveaway! Don’t worry if you miss a couple of blogs, visiting every blog isn’t required, it just increases your chances of winning! I’ll be creating a second bracelet for the WOW giveaway (International winner receives gift card) similar to the bracelet in the Rafflecopter. I will choose the winning blog then choose the winning comment some time after midnight, September 5th, Arizona time. I will use Random dot org to make the selection. Let’s support our bloggers who give us so much! Hugs, Caris

 

BLURB:

A powerful alpha wolf. A gifted witch. Each haunted by death. Can passion drive them to an everlasting love? Or will the enemy forge a hopeless chasm?

Braden should have died in the Graveyard, but the witch, Maeve, saved him. The call of his wolf is on him and he wants her. She can be his alpha-mate. But she has powers that can destroy him and a disrupted memory that holds the answers to his wife’s murder. Can he ever trust a woman who can kill with the power she streams from her bare hands?

 

Maeve has known only horror, death and destruction since her arrival in Five Bridges as a transformed alter witch. She goes to the Graveyard nightly to rescue those left for dead by the evil rampant in all five territories of her new world. She fears the power she possesses and the gaps in her memory frighten her more than anything else. But when she rescues Braden from an attack in the Graveyard and she realizes she’s drawn to the handsome wolf, the nightmare really begins.

 

Buy Links:

Caris Roane’s website | Amazon

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

Maeve held Braden’s fur tight. She didn’t want to let him go. The moment he’d pushed her onto the floor in his massive wolf state, desire exploded. Somehow, all that black fur and the sight of his fangs got to her.

 

She knew then he’d spoken the truth. Though she was a witch, she could bond with this Border Patrol officer and serve as his alpha female.

 

Slowly, he shifted back to his human form, a seamless process reflecting his decade in Five Bridges. She released his fur as it disappeared through her fingers.

 

His green eyes held hers tight. She couldn’t have looked away if she’d wanted to. He said, “I need you to understand what you’re getting into here. This will be without one shred of emotion. What happens here is strictly physical, very physical. I have no interest in you otherwise, despite your alpha-mate capacity.”

 

She smiled. “Got it. No strings and yes, I’m game.”

 

He leaped to his feet, reached down and plucked her off the floor like she was feather. He lifted her into his arms then carried her into the bedroom, slamming the door shut with his foot.

 

She’d been wanting this for weeks. Months, maybe.

 

He took her to the bed but before he let go of her, he pulled the covers back. Then he dropped her so she bounced on the mattress.

 

She would have been happy to get her clothes off, but he went to work like a madman. He tugged off her shoes and jeans, then flipped her onto her stomach.”

 

“You’ve got a beautiful ass, Maeve…”

 

Read More of the Excerpt Here

~*~*~*~*~*~

About Caris:

 

Hi, Everyone! Caris Roane here! I’m a NY Times Bestselling Author and I write super-sexy paranormal romance books. With every book I create, my goal is to take you away ~ far, far away ~ from the difficulties and frustrations of your life.

 

I began my career with Kensington Publishing and wrote Regency Romance as Valerie King. In 2005, Romantic Times Magazine honored me with a career achievement award for my Regency work. To-date, I’ve published eighty-nine books. Thirty-nine of those are paranormal romances, some self-published and some with St. Martin’s Press.

Though my stories conjure up hunky PNR warriors, like vampires and wolf-shifters, the romance is everything, including a satisfying Happily Ever After. My hope is that you’ll become engrossed in the lives of my tortured heroes and my worthy women as they wage war, as they make love, and as they face the tough issues of life and relationships!

I live in the Phoenix area, in the city of Buckeye. When not writing, I’m a real homebody. I love gardening, sewing, and cooking. (Um, cleaning, not so much!) I also enjoy creating jewelry and I frequently offer my handcrafted, PNR bracelet giveaways to my newsletter and blog subscribers. You can sign up for both on my Home Page.

My motto: Live the Fang!

 

Caris Roane

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Last Chance to enter the Super Summer Reads Giveaway

 

 

Hi my Lovelies! I’m writing this post from the Big Apple — my last days of our annual holiday here, and as you might have guest, there has been reading, writing and inspiration at every turn. I hope your summer is sizzling with fun and adventure. And what would summer be without some good old fashioned binge reading during your summer hols?  That’s why I’m posting a quickie to remind you not to miss out on a fabulous binge read possibility. You only have until Tuesday the 15th of August to take advantage of the chance to win big and get yourself some fabulous freebies while you’re at it. Enter the Super Summer Reads Giveaway at Book Hub. Deets below!

 

Super Summer Reads Giveaway at Book Hub

 

 

You don’t want to miss out. Hurry and enter for a chance to win the giveaway and don’t miss the chance to partake of the freebies as well. Super Summer Reads Giveaway is going on right now at Book Hub until the 15th of August.

 

Three lucky winners will walk away with a HUGE bundle of books. This is a multi-genre giveaway with chances to win other fab reads as well as the chance at the book bundle. I’m very proud to announce that my novel, In The Flesh, the first book in the Medusa’s Consortium Series, is included in that massive bundle.

 

Here’s your chance at a treasure trove of great reads from all genres. To enter just follow the above link. And while you’re there, be sure to check out the other fab freebies as well.

 

 

 

Landscapes FREE!

Just a quick reminder that to celebrate the upcoming launch of Blindsided, you can still downlowad my exciting M/M novella, Landscapes FREE! Landscapes is the very first of the Medusa’s Consortium stories. A fast paced, sizzling, chilling erotic read, Landscapes will definitely whet your appetite for more. All you have to do is click the hyperlink for your free download. Download yours and share the news with your friends so they can download theirs too. I want to spread the fun.

 

 

Happy reading everyone!

 

Sexy Just Got Kinky Now Just $.99/99p

 

 

Sale – Sexy Just Got Kinky Just 99c/p!

The Brit Babes have some great news! Our deliciously naughty anthology, Sexy Just Got Kinky, is currently on sale for
just 99c/p. Get your copy now. But you’ll want to hurry because the sale ends this Friday!

Sexy Just Got Kinky Blurb:

Tantalise your dark side with kinks to make you think. From lovers behind bars to lone ladies behind the lens—fisticuffs and feathers, lilos and lube, scissors and sticks, whips, canes and bondage, there’s sure to be a kink within these pages to whet your appetite, tickle your fancies and heat up cold nights.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your copy quick, and please tell all your friends!

 

 

 

 

 

Get your copy of Sexy Just Got Kinky here:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon CA

Amazon DE

Barnes & Noble

iBooks UK

iBooks US

Kobo

Smashwords

 

And just to tempt you a little bit more, here is an excerpt from my contribution to Sexy Just Got Kinky, A Bird in the Bush. Enjoy!

 

A Bird in the Bush Excerpt:

Cockerel, rooster, male chicken—whatever the hell you wanted to call him, he was enormous! Think Big Bird of thebarnyard, and you get the picture. Oh my God! I wanted to bury my face in those gorgeous scarlet and emerald tail feathers while he wriggled his arse and cock-a-doodle-dooed at the top of his lungs.

Okay, let me just clarify before you get the idea that I do obscene things to animals. This was not a real cock… not the barnyard kind. I did say think Big Bird, didn’t I? This was a man strutting around Stoke Park in a fucking chicken costume! And it was a bloody brilliant one—no cheap-arsed papier-mâché, not this cock, no siree! Even from a distance—and it wasn’t much of a distance because I nearly ran into him on the sidewalk in front of the duck pond—I could tell those luscious plumes were genuine ostrich. Even the very thought had my nipples drilling through my vest.

The ginormous rooster stepped back all chivalrous-like and gave me a well-executed bow. Before I could ask what a big cock was doing parading around the duck pond in Stoke Park, he reached into a leather bag that hung over one broad avian shoulder and pulled out a lollipop, which he unwrapped. And then the cheeky cock stuck it in my mouth, brushing the tip of my nose with the soft golden feathers that covered his hands.

My dirty mind went crazy. I’ll admit I might have even moaned out loud and rolled my eyes. I mean it was a cherry lollipop, for God’s sake! The end resembled the tip of a penis all bright and hard like it was anticipating some serious in and out, and the giant rooster just sticks it right in my mouth! It’s bad enough that I moaned, but then… I slurped. Loudly. I didn’t mean to, honestly I didn’t. It’s just that I was already salivating and having something hard stuffed into my mouth when I was fantasising about a tumble behind the shrubbery with those thick, silky feathers wrapped around me, how could I not slurp?

 

Sex as a Creative Act

(From the Archives)

Sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities.  –Erica Jong

 Several years ago Victoria Blisse and I led a panel discussion on sex and spirituality, a discussion we both felt was essential to erotica writers. We didn’t know what to expect, but a full house of enthusiastic people willing to share their thoughts on the deep connection between the spiritual and the sexual and the common vocabulary as well as the common experience is what we got. We both came away feeling like we were the richer for the effort, and I came away with my mind racing about that creative act of sex and where it leads us.

A while back my husband emailed me a link to an article about masturbation as a treatment for restless leg syndrome (It’s orgasm that actually seems to help. The means is optional.) I can almost see you scratching your heads in a WTF moment with that statement. 🙂 Anyway, the article led us to an impromptu discussion of all of the other benefits of sex. Sex is a good sleep aid, sex can help with weight loss, sex can improve skin, hair and nails, just to name a few. There was even an article in Psychology Today about semen as an anti-depressant. Strangely enough though, the jury, however, is still out on whether sex is an aid or a deterrent to creativity.

For the naysayers, abstinence has long been championed as a way to focus sexual energy for creative purposes. On the other hand, a 2009 study at the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne and the Open University showing that professional poets and artists had almost twice as many sex partners as other people. The study also showed that the number of sex partners increased as creative output went up. The conclusion drawn was that the more creative you are, the more sex partners you were likely to have.

I’m sure that’s a simplification, but I wonder which came first: the sex or the creativity? Is it the creative force that makes us horny, or is it being horny that makes us creative? My guess is that every writer, poet or artist would answer that question differently. However, I don’t think there’s any denying the close connection between the creative force and sexuality. Nor do I think that’s particularly surprising. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Freud was right. It IS all about sex. But I wonder whether we really understand just what sex is all about.

Yes, the basic biology is obvious, but we humans haven’t had sex simply to procreate in a very long time now. We’ve evolved to want, to expect, even to need more from the sex act than just the next generation. Perhaps that goes hand-in- hand with our cultural evolution, what sets us apart from our animal cousins — at least in our own eyes. For humans, all things seem to have evolved two meanings. First there is the concrete realm in which we’re born, nurtured, thrive, reproduce and die. But we develop another level of meaning when we no longer have to use all of our energy just to survive. When starvation is no longer an issue, food and its preparation and presentation become art. When keeping out the cold is no longer an issue, clothing becomes fashion, and magazines tell us how we can be walking galleries for the art of clothing. When finding shelter from the elements is no longer necessary, our very homes become an artistic expression of ourselves. In a world where all our basic needs have evolved more than one meaning, the artistic expression becomes as important as the function.

But all of these necessities are mundane. Sex is not. For our ancestors, sex was the magic by which two people become three. Today sex is the magic by which two people become one, or by which one person becomes more herself or himself. On one hand procreation has given way to re-creation,  but on the other hand, how can an act that has evolved from the very need to create the next generation be rooted in anything but creativity?

How can the process of creating be anything but sexual? Writing a story is a penetrative act resulting in something larger, something much more alive than the words on the page, than the idea conceived. That’s heady stuff. That’s the writer in full rut. It’s intimate, it’s messy, it’s rough and tumble, it’s voyeurism and exhibitionism and full-on heat. If it isn’t, then there hardly seems to be a point.

That being said, anyone who has had good sex, lingering sex in which time seemed no longer to exist, will recall that
what mattered was the wonder of the act itself, the amazing intimacy with the other. Any writer or artist knows that experience up close and personal. At some point the creative act itself becomes the sum total of existence. The writer’s world shrinks to and expands out from that act, and the end no longer matters.

So how did I get from masturbation for restless leg syndrome to once more worshiping at the altar of the Divine Creative Sexual Force? Well I suppose it’s all just a part of the journey isn’t it? And besides, where else would I go with it?

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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